On the southeast corner of Saskatchewan Drive and Elphinstone Street residents may notice a bit more colour than usual. A collaboration between the City of Regina, Arch Transco, artist Geanna Dunbar, Street Culture Project and Sleek Signs, this project added art and visual interest to a heavily used corner in an otherwise utilitarian part of the city.
Geanna Dunbar is a Cree – Metis mixed media, spoken word artist and entrepreneur from Regina, Saskatchewan. She works in mixed media collage, sculpture, acrylic, street art, chalkboard, window painting, body piercing, tattooing and her poetry often reflects real life issues and art. With a special interest in sustainable art and interdisciplinary community collaboration, Geanna often sets personal challenges that help her grow and deepen her relationship with her environment and with others.
She recently completed an apprenticeship program involving traditional Indigenous tattooing practices. Other projects have included murals, vinyl wraps and snow sculpting exhibits for Frost Festival.
Tapwe (the Truth) showcases the years of the Treaty 4 trading posts and fur trade. The fiddle is a representation of Métis fiddlers who were cultural ambassadors. The music’s role in legal, political, and cultural considerations are often overlooked. The top raccoon tail and the bison plays homage to the fur and meat trade, as a lot of Indigenous and Métis people were hired to hunt for colonizers. Indigenous People were trappers, guides, interpreters, voyageurs, dock and warehouse workers, and canoe operators. The flowers clearing a path around the fiddle between the bison as well as the dots represents the artwork and tattooing practices of the Métis and Cree people who have lost those practices over years of cultural genocide. The bottom is traditional beading, shaped as a sun rising or setting - reminding us that we are still here, just as the sun rises and falls.
The Glockenspiel honours the contributions of Regina’s German and multicultural communities and is a symbol of the City’s commitment to diversity and conserving cultural heritage assets. It was reinstalled in Pat Fiacco Plaza in October 2020 and adds to the cultural vibrancy of Regina’s downtown.
In addition to restoration of the bell system and controller, the process to reinstall the Glockenspiel involved stakeholder engagement and the establishment of a local Program Advisory Committee.
In April 2021, the City initiated a review of the Glockenspiel programming. The purpose of this review was to understand how the Glockenspiel is contributing to the experience of residents and others in the downtown area. View survey results.
Public Art Projects
The City of Regina commissions art installations to enhance the interior and exterior of public places in the Queen City. Commissions are done in collaboration with the Civic Arts Collection Committee and the community. Some of the selection criteria used includes:
- artistic merit, authenticity, and quality of the work
- suitability for the chosen location
- accessibility and public acceptability
- significance for our city
The City of Regina administers the care of numerous public art pieces. The artwork is maintained by the Art Preparator of the Civic Art Collection through the Cultural Development Branch. Here are videos of some of Regina's public art.
Civic Art Collection
Some of the oldest pieces in the City's collections are portraits of Regina’s earliest mayors and scenes of Regina at the turn of the 20th century. Today, the Civic Art Collection holds over 330 pieces of fine art and can be seen at City Hall and all of the city-owned and operated facilities in Regina. The purpose of the Civic Art Collection is to:
- Develop, manage and preserve an art collection that will enhance the interior and exterior of public places in the City of Regina.
- Demonstrate that the City of Regina recognizes its responsibility to preserve art objects which have historic and/or aesthetic significance, and to acquire art objects whose quality and associations are such that they will have continuing significance to the City.
- Encourage and benefit resident artists and crafts people, professional and amateur.
- Demonstrate the City's commitment to the value of historic and contemporary art, which will inform, enlighten and enhance the life of the community.